Herpes Esophagitis

Herpes esophagitis is a viral infection of the esophagus, caused by the herpes simplex virus – the same virus that causes cold sores or fever blisters.

Symptoms of Herpes Esophagitis

The symptoms of herpes esophagitis are:

  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Pain
  • Feeling that food is stuck in the throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea


Your doctor will look for the following signs of herpes esophagitis:

  • Blisters or ulcers in the esophagus
  • Biopsy or tissue sample positive for herpes simplex infection

Cause of Herpes Esophagitis

Herpes esophagitis is caused by an opportunistic infection by the herpes simplex virus. It is called an opportunistic infection because it only develops if the body’s immune system is already overwhelmed or weakened by another illness.

Herpes Esophagitis Treatment

Treatments for herpes esophagitis include oral or intravenous administration of antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, foscarnet or vidarabine.

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